After a very busy end of fall, and the holidays, we’ve been somewhat hibernating! We had some snow in November, and snow cover since early December. Snow on Christmas Day, then some very cold weather, below zero and single digits, and then some thawing and ice in January which was warmer than average. A few days ago we had 6 inches of snow, and it is snowing as I write this with 6-12 inches expected. The house has performed very well, and we are staying warm and cozy!
The last outside project we worked on was the 3-season porch on the west side. Tim managed to get the roof sheathed (in process below left), and covered with tarps, before real snow (below right), but we did not get the standing seam roof on– that will have to wait for spring.
While the ground was still clear, we had trees cleared from along the driveway where we will put up photo voltaic panels in the spring. When these are operational, we will be close to net zero for our electricity.
With the first substantial snow we got to start using the new snow-blower for the first time! We still have to do some shoveling, especially around the vehicles (which we now park at the top of the driveway), but it’s not bad, and it is great to be in control of the snow clearing.
During November Jeff Solsaa, who did our insulating and installed the sheetrock ceiling upstairs, at our request came back with a friend and finished the mudding and sanding. We slept on the airbed downstairs, and had everything upstairs covered in plastic etc. They were working in between other jobs, in the evenings, and for various reasons it ended up taking almost a month. We were thrilled to move back upstairs just before Christmas! And after Christmas Tim painted the ceiling. (Before and after below.) Since then we have painted the vertical sheet rock wall on the south side a lovely light green.
Additional interior improvements include a rug on our “living room” floor and our beloved sturdy coffee table, retrieved from the storage unit, and Tim put up lights (down lights on a cable) over the dining table:
And, Tim built us a simple bed frame! We have been on a mattress on the floor since we arrived in Vermont, which has not been a problem, but SO NICE to be up off the floor!
We enjoyed a peaceful and quiet Christmas Day, that included snow, phone calls, our favorite dinner, and an outing on our snow gliders. No photo, but a local friend invented them — narrower than snow shoes, much shorter and wider than cross country skiis, with some of the best attributes of both.
I’ve continued to enjoy playing my recorder, both lessons and ensemble, and with another friend. In December our ensemble performed at La Salette in Enfield, New Hampshire. Chris Rua, my teacher, is on the left with the giant contra bass recorder. (L to R: Chris, Deirdre, Peter, Thelma; me, Tracy)
We’ve loved having friends over. Also, I get together with several other women to knit (Tuesday mornings at the post office!), one of whom will turn 96 later this month. I’m also enjoying volunteering with a grade 3-4 class at The Newton School, Strafford’s K-8 public school. Tim has been working a lot on organizing his basement workshop, quite a task!
I’ll finish with some of my favorite snow photos! I now understand why the Inuit have many words for snow — every snowfall is different. The flakes are different, sometimes lots of snow sticks to the trees, sometimes not, etc. The first photo is the view from our south windows, the second up the driveway on a beautiful sunny day! I always like the cobalt sky and the blue stripes of shadows across the snow when the sun is out…
Until next time!